EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (News Release) — A new $10+ million resort planned in the heart of this Ozark mountain tourist mecca promises to create a new playground in the backyard of burgeoning Northwest Arkansas and a regional draw for mountain bikers, motorcyclists, foodies and sightseers.
Pine Mountain–a dramatic redevelopment of the Pine Mountain Village, Pine Mountain Jamboree, and about 40 acres of adjoining forested hills–will incorporate two farm-to-table restaurants, a fast-casual cafe, 15-plus cabins, boutique shopping, a 200-person event center, outdoor event space and a mountain adventure center to rewrite the script for Ozark mountain destinations.
The destination promises to create more than 100 hospitality jobs in the community. It is the brainchild of chef-entrepreneur Marshall Johnson and his father, Paul Johnson, who owns the property. For more than a decade, Marshall has owned and run the successful Rockin’ Pig Saloon, one of Eureka’s highest-grossing restaurants. Paul and his wife own the Pig Trail Harley-Davidson dealership in Rogers and Eureka Springs.
“This is a great time to develop an exciting, multi-faceted tourism destination like Pine Mountain in Eureka Springs,” enthused Marshall. “We’re the backyard playground for the booming Northwest Arkansas population; mountain biking and motorcycling in the Ozarks are getting national and international notoriety, and Eureka Springs is this jewel of a destination that has drawn a crowd for more than a century.”
“The area has been known as ‘Little Switzerland’ in the past. With Pine Mountain, you might say we’re creating a ‘Little Aspen’ in the Ozarks,” Marshall said, drawing parallels to the food, entertainment and outdoors scenes of that famous mountain town.
The 15 cabins initially planned will have bike-in-bike-out access to three miles of hiking/biking trails on the property, with connectors to area trails, surface roads and Downtown Eureka Springs. In addition, Marshall mentions the draw of access by bike or vehicle to other trail systems built or planned in the community such as the Lake Leatherwood Gravity Trails and The Great Passion Play trail system.
Eureka and surrounds is a popular destination for motorcycling as well, which as Harley-Davidson dealers the family has actively promoted for years. “The Pig Trail and other Ozark riding routes are already well known,” Kyle Johnson, Marshall’s brother and general manager of the dealership, said. “With Pine Mountain Resort, we’re building hospitality venues we know will appeal to our Hog-riding community; they’ve already told us so.”
Informed by Marshall Johnson’s passion for farm-to-table cuisine and exceptional steaks, the restaurants on the property will feature 100% full-blood Japanese Black Wagyu and American Wagyu beef farmed by the chef himself as well as 100% Heritage Angus cuts grown by family farmers in the Midwest.
The Social House event center will accommodate weddings, corporate events and other social occasions up to 200 persons. Johnson is sparing no expense equipping the kitchens in order to provide an inimitable catering service. For instance, he’ll be able to prepare and hold up to 200 filet mignon entrees at the perfect serving temperature or roast and serve a whole hog from the catering kitchen.
Outside, the grounds will feature a naturally landscaped event area capable of hosting all manner of musical and entertainment events, a striking observation tower overlooking the city’s downtown, Ozark hills and Crescent Hotel, and an expansive parking lot where Pine Mountain will continue its tradition of hosting Corvette, Mustang and VW club car shows.
Stacy Hurst, Cabinet Secretary for the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism, calls the Pine Mountain project a significant development in the state’s tourism infrastructure. “Pine Mountain in Eureka Springs has the potential to drive tourism in the area to a new level,” she said. “This project will utilize the incredible natural and cultural resources of the area and present them to today’s traveler in a way that’s very attractive. The redevelopment and enhancement of Pine Mountain will have a very positive impact on Arkansas’s tourism economy.”
Architectural and design services are being provided by Shea Design of Minneapolis. A James Beard Award nominee for excellence in design, Shea has more than 40 years of experience extending hospitality and restaurant brands through physical space. Led by founder and CEO David Shea, the firm has created such wildly popular destinations as Spoon and Stable, Butcher and the Boar, Popol Vuh, and Bat and Barrel at Target Field.